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Milbank - Housing big draw to northeastern South Dakota community

Spread across two major highways in northeast South Dakota, Milbank is in the center of Grant County. With a population over 3,500, Milbank is the county’s largest community.

Growth is continuing in Milbank due to business expansions and large agricultural industries along with its lifestyle.

“Milbank is so much more than just a job. There are multiple quality of life options including two nursing homes, Unity Health, the school system, and the arts program. There are so many things,” said Grant County Development Corporation (GCDC) Coordinator Krista Atyeo-Gortmaker.

Housing is on the forefront for Milbank. Previous economic development director Bobbie Bohlen explained that housing in Milbank is not a one size fits all. Armed with that knowledge, in 2015 Milbank began expanding their workforce housing.

A public/private partnership, involving the local school district resulted in Peaceful Pines, an active, senior living facility. GCDC purchased the former Koch Elementary School, a developer was secured, and then GCDC transferred ownership of the property to the developers to build the multi-million-dollar project. This complex can house multiple residents, allowing senior citizens who no longer wanted to own a home the option to stay in Milbank. This also opens up those homes for new residents and their families.

Also constructed was Rosewood Apartment Complex, a 38-unit multi-family facility.

“We are always working towards good growth,” said Bohlen. “And we knew we needed to do something special to move the needle with this project. And that project was Rosewood.”

She continued, “People were leaving town before, but now, they have a choice. And because of what came from Peaceful Pines and Rosewood, the community realized they could make things happen.”

With these types of new ideas, Atyeo-Gortmaker explained that Milbank is working hard to attract people to the area.

“With so many different opportunities, it’s important to Milbank that we make an impact,” said Atyeo-Gortmaker. “And businesses and leaders want to be a part of the economic development and growth it brings to Milbank.”

South Dakota Governor’s Office of Economic Development

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